05 May 2006


Cinco de Mayo seems to be one of those holidays that is widely celebrated but little understood. Go to a party or a bar today, and ask around. How many people know that the holiday is a celebration of the victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza over the French expeditionary forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862?

Wonder if anyone celebrates it unwittingly in France?

Despite the flap over "Nuestro Himno" and the ongoing immigration debate, only a few blog whackos seem to be bothered by the prevalence of this Mexican holiday north of the border. And yes, some US gasbags have called for a boycott of all things Mexican today. One such call reads:

This shall be our protest: A call to boycott this "Non-American" holiday that has infiltrated our border, and our cities and towns, along with the ILLEGAL ALIENS who brought it here. This is your chance to say, we don't want you here marching in our streets, and we don't want your holiday. If you're angry at the growing problem of illegal immigration, if you've had enough of our government's lack of response, and if you are downright fed up with images of marching, protesting illegal Mexicans trying to run our country...then May 5th is your chance to do something.
Cinco De Mayo!
SoundRoots instead suggests that you embrace the holiday, particularly if you live in that part of the USA that was once part of Mexico. Eat Mexican food, drink Mexican beer, hug actual Mexicans. Debate with Mexicans whether this was a greater military victory than the sputtering end of the War of 1812.

Then, thus refreshed, feel free to re-engage in the immigration debate. Because it's not just about Mexico and Mexicans. Estimates vary, and obviously specific numbers aren't known, but estimates say that around 78% of the 12 million or so undocumented people in the USA hail from Latin America. That's all of Latin America, from Chile to Mexico. The other 22% come from all over the place: Asia, the Middle East, Russia, Europe, and that insideous nation to the north, Canada.

Or do you want to boycott them too? No more Oktoberfest? Say no to Phad Thai? Deport all sitars?

How about we discuss the real issues and reform the immigration system, and leave the cultural boycotts out of it?

And if you don't want to go out, here are a few tunes courtesy of Portland Oregon's Cinco De Mayo Fiesta!
[mp3] Rogelio Martínez: "Angel Rebelde"
[mp3] Rogelio Martínez: "No Me Importa Tu Olvido"
Pre-order his upcoming album Dos En Uno

[mp3] Los TexManiacs: "Ando Buscando un Amor"
[mp3] Los TexManiacs: "Hey Baby"
Buy the CD Tex-Mex Groove

[wma] Las 3 Divas: "Hey Boy"
[wma] Las 3 Divas: "Bumpin All Night"
Las 3 Divas have a self-titled album - buy it here

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